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Organizing Your Treasured Memories Through Scrapbooking

Posted by on Jun 22, 2015 in Blog, Happy Together

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but there is not much being said if they are stored in a box somewhere. Learning to scrapbook is easy and a great way to display all those photos from special moments in your life. You’ll also create a treasured keepsake of memories for generations to come.

If you’re new to scrapbooking, here are some easy tips to get started:

1. SET UP A WORKPLACE AREA – Find an area in your house that can be dedicated to scrapbooking. You could set it up on the dining room table, but you would have to continuously put it away so you could serve dinner. Find a place that allows you to leave your materials readily accessible and organized.

2. SELECT PHOTOS – Take time to organize your photos before you begin to scrapbook. It will make it a lot easier and save time, too. Pick a theme for your album such as birthday, wedding, holiday, vacation, etc. Organizing photos by life events and dates is a great way to start.

3. GATHER SUPPLIES – Your first trip to a scrapbook store may seem a bit overwhelming. It’s best not to go overboard. Keep it simple. Make a list and stick to it. Your list should include a photo album, page protectors, patterned paper, card stock, adhesive, embellishments, scissors, paper trimmer, and pens.

4. DESIGN YOUR PAGES – Focus on the layout of your pages. The first page is your title page. This lets everyone know what your album is about. The rest of your layouts are two pages side by side. Then you can embellish as much or as little as you like. Be careful not to overdo it. Make your pictures the focus of your album. Use your imagination when picking out the items that interest you.

5. JOURNAL – This is where you explain what is going on or who is in the photos. You can write down a key phrase or a poem that fits the situation. You may want to include a story or two. These will provide an avenue for documenting memories that otherwise might be forgotten.

As you learn scrapbooking and gain experience, you will discover that scrapbooking is a fun, relaxing hobby that allows you to be creative, preserve memories, and organize your photos at the same time. It’s something that you can enjoy year round. Plus, your family and friends will enjoy the albums you put together.

Specialty CSR II

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Volunteer Firefighting Teaches Valuable Skills

Posted by on Jun 15, 2015 in Blog, My Favorite Things

Firefighting has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. As a kid, I was always around the firehouse with my family, so it seemed only natural that I would find my way to the service at some point.

As a volunteer firefighter, I have made relationships with the men and women I served with and learned incredible lessons that will last a lifetime. As a firefighter, I fought the natural instinct to run away from fire and instead push strong into burning buildings. I have worked long hours fighting field fires and have spent numerous hours training. I have helped deliver babies and cheated death by resuscitating those on the brink.

Firefighting is more than axes and engines; it is a way of life. It helps you learn to appreciate every moment life offers and see how fragile it can really be.

My time in the fire service has taught me many of the skills I use in my current position with Pekin Insurance. Firefighters spend a great deal of time on building construction so we know how a fire will behave and how to attack it. This knowledge helps me when preparing estimates for damages to homes, regardless of the cause of loss. The time I spent on accident scenes helped me understand and recognize different types of injuries based on the damages to vehicles and point of impact. This correlates directly to dealing with bodily injury claims. The greatest skill I learned is the ability to talk to people during stressful situations and to help them understand what happens next.

As an adjuster, I am given the responsibility to keep the promise, to go Beyond the expected,® and to help our clients through the claims process after the smoke clears, the dust settles, and the emergency personnel go home.


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Ovarian Cancer – The Silent Killer

Posted by on Jun 9, 2015 in Blog, Happy Together

Did you know that according to the American Cancer Society, about 21,000 women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer this year, and 14,000 will die of the disease? Ovarian cancer has a higher mortality rate than many other cancers because it has very few physical symptoms, which makes it challenging to detect in its early stages. Currently, there are no screening tests that are approved for ovarian cancer detection for women at conventional risk for the disease.

Recognize the signs/symptoms of ovarian cancer

  • Bloating/increase in abdominal size
  • Pelvic/abdominal pain
  • Frequently urinating/bladder changes
  • If these symptoms persist for two or more weeks, consult your physician. He or she will likely recommend a pelvic exam. If a mass is detected upon examination, your physician will be more likely to order a blood test called a C125. If your C125 level is abnormal, then an imaging ultrasound or a CT scan of the pelvic may be ordered. When someone is diagnosed with ovarian cancer, usually surgery and chemotherapy are the next steps.

    Surgical options may include:

  • Abdominal exploration
  • Total abdominal hysterectomy
  • Bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy
  • Bilateral pelvic and paraaortic lymphadenectomy
  • Omentectomy
  • Depending on the stage of the disease, surgical options may also require small or large bowel resection, splenectomy, peritoneal stripping, diaphragm resection, appendectomy, intraperitoneal port placement, or more.

    Generally, surgery will be followed by chemotherapy, typically starting within 3 to 4 weeks and continuing for as much as 18 weeks to make sure all of the cancer cells have been killed.

    If you have any of the signs and symptoms mentioned above, talk to your doctor as soon as possible.

    More information on ovarian cancer can be found on the Mayo Clinic website.

    Microfilm Indexer

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    Safe Storage of Chemicals in the Workplace

    Posted by on Jun 8, 2015 in Blog, Small Business Safety

    As a small business, you know what chemicals you need in the workplace to do your job. But do you know how to properly store them?

    Before storing any chemicals, please refer to our previous blog post entitled “Safe Handling of Chemicals in the Workplace” for information on identifying hazards and labeling of the chemicals.

    Improperly stored chemicals could result in fires, explosions, and other serious health hazards that could impact you, your business, or your employees. Therefore, it’s important to know how to store chemicals in your workplace.

    Remember, although tempting, don’t store chemicals in groups determined by container size or alphabetically. Alphabetizing your chemicals could mean that explosive chemical combinations end up next to each other on the shelf. That’s an accident waiting to happen.

    After you’ve consulted the Safety Data Sheets and grouped your chemicals according to their properties (i.e. flammables, oxidizers, corrosives), keep these guidelines in mind:

    • Flammables must be stored in a cabinet that complies with NFPA 30 guidelines. The doors should be kept closed at all times. This is for your, your employees’, and your property’s safety.
    • If you’re going to be dispensing flammables from the storage container, make sure it’s grounded and bonded to the receiving container.
    • Nitric acid must be stored away from other acids.
    • Never store chemicals above eye level or on the floor in a walkway.
    • Very toxic or controlled chemicals should be stored in a lockable cabinet.
    • Volatile chemicals should be stored in a vented area.
    • Chemical spill and first aid supplies should be readily available near the storage areas for easy access in an emergency. Personal protective equipment should be nearby, too.
    • Monitor your chemical storage areas for spills and leaks, missing labels, ignition hazards for flammables, extreme cold, and theft. An inventory inspection should be conducted on your chemicals at regular intervals so you can catch any problems.

    Following these guidelines should help make your small business safe from chemical storage danger.

    Loss Control Representative


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    Do I Need Rental Car Insurance?

    Posted by on Jun 1, 2015 in Blog, My Favorite Things

    Whenever you have rented a vehicle from a rental car company, have you been overwhelmed with the legal wording in the contract?

    When the car rental agent asks the question, “Would you like to purchase insurance or sign a waiver?” are you unsure how to respond?

    Do you know if your personal automobile policy provides rental car coverage? What if my child who resides with me wants to rent a vehicle; does my policy provide coverage for him or her to rent the vehicle?

    A Pekin Insurance® personal automobile policy provides coverage for a vehicle rented by an “insured” as a temporary substitute vehicle. An insured is defined as the individual named on the policy, their spouse (if a resident of the same household), and any resident relative.

    The coverage provided is the broadest coverage carried on your personal auto policy. If you only carry liability insurance, then your personal auto policy will pay up to your policy limits for an accident where it is determined the insured is legally liable. For the policy to pay for the damage caused to the rental car itself, you must carry physical damage coverage on an owned vehicle.

    The personal auto policy only provides liability and/or physical damage coverage. The personal auto policy does NOT provide coverage to a rental vehicle for the following losses:

    • Diminution in value – the monetary difference between a car’s pre-accident value and the car’s value after an accident and repair.
    • Valet Parking – when a rented vehicle is being parked by a valet.
    • Loss of use to the rented vehicle.

    The above coverage may be added to your Pekin Insurance personal automobile policy with the purchase of our Auto Guard endorsement.

    Knowing what coverage your policy provides should give you the confidence that you will make the correct decision about the purchase of insurance the next time you need to rent a vehicle as a temporary substitute for a vehicle you own.

    Senior Personal Lines Research & Development Specialist

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    Make Time to Laugh It Up at Work!

    Posted by on May 26, 2015 in Blog, Happy Together

    Laughter in the work place makes me feel good. Laughter helps me keep a positive attitude throughout the day. I found this blog I would like to share because I live by this every day.

    According to a blog found on, laughter is an effective weapon to use in the workplace. Of course it is our responsibility to take our jobs and work seriously, but it is healthy to incorporate laughter and joy into your daily routine.

    According to the blog, laughter and friendly environments tend to make the workplace much more pleasant. Laughter tends to make us want to come to work and be around our peers.

    I can honestly say that laughter keeps me humble and in touch with reality. Things that may have seemed stressful to me at the time are not so stressful when you just add a little laughter.

    If you would like to read more about this topic, visit

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